Most of the hacks we come across here at Hackaday don’t require much more than being “cool” to get our attention. But, every so often we find something that goes a step beyond that and does something truly good for the world. This is one such project, and its goal couldn’t be anymore altruistic: to allow the elderly to enjoy music, even when their declining vision and motor skills make traditional devices difficult to use.
It’s hard to overstate how important music is to people; there are few forms of art more emotionally effective. So, it was a major loss when an elderly relative of [DusteD] was no longer able to operate their CD player. Luckily, [DusteD] was there with an ingenious solution that uses RFID cards to play music from an always-on Raspberry Pi.
The operation is as simple as it possibly could be: the user places the RFID card onto the Raspberry Pi’s enclosure, an RFID reader tells the Pi which song is being requested, and it’s played. That’s it — there are no other controls at all. The song simply plays until it’s over (or another card is used), and the volume is preset.
Now, obviously the music library will be limited by the number of cards made. But, they’re large and easy to read, and there is no reason why a card couldn’t be used to trigger an album or a pre-made playlist. Remember, the goal here is ease of use, not to replace an iPod. This isn’t the first music player we’ve seen with a unique control method, but it’s by far the simplest.